Are Dehumidifiers Safe To Leave On? (Solved!)

  • Author: Irene Batres
  • Date: September 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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You just bought a dehumidifier, and perhaps you are now wondering if it is safe to leave it on, say, overnight.

In this post, we will look at whether or not it is safe to leave a dehumidifier on, especially for extended periods.

We will also answer various frequently asked questions about dehumidifiers and safety.

Are Dehumidifiers Safe To Leave On?

Yes, dehumidifiers are safe to leave on. Most good-quality dehumidifiers can easily handle overnight running without trouble. In fact, most will automatically turn off when they reach their desired humidity level.

However, for a dehumidifier to be completely safe to leave on, there shouldn’t be any errs on your part.

This means the unit should always be properly maintained and cleaned, especially the filters. Also, check if there is any water leakage or overflow from time to time.

You might also want to check the manual for your machine and see if it specifies a maximum running time.

If so, don’t run the dehumidifier longer than that amount of time, or you might void its warranty.

The safest dehumidifiers to leave on for extended periods are ones with a defrost feature.

These will shut off automatically when the coils become covered with ice. When this happens, you won’t have to worry about mold or mildew growth, and your unit can be left on for extended periods of time without trouble.

When Should I Turn off My Dehumidifier?

The recommended relative humidity for a home is 30%- 50%. You want to turn off your dehumidifier when you notice the relative humidity is going below or beyond that range.

It is always advisable to get a unit with an auto shut-off feature so that you don’t have to worry about this.

The unit will automatically shut off when the humidity is at its optimal level.

If your dehumidifier is not working well and the air feels too humid, turn it off immediately and look for a problem with its filters or drainage system. If you cannot find any problems, consider getting another unit as yours might already be damaged beyond repair.

Check if there is still a warranty on your machine to see if you can get a replacement free of charge or at a low cost through the manufacturer’s service center.

Can You Leave A Dehumidifier Unattended?

Yes, you can leave a properly maintained dehumidifier running unattended. However, you need to have some caution while doing so.

A dehumidifier should never be placed in an enclosed space such as a garage or a storage room.

This is because carbon monoxide can build up and cause problems if left too long without proper ventilation.

Also, make sure to place the dehumidifier on a flat, level surface.

If it is not leveled properly, you might end up with water leakage and damage to your property since most units have drainage systems that work best when they are placed on an even ground.

It is also important that you clean the filters as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t, it will cause your unit to work harder and might even damage its internal components over time.

In the case of a machine with an auto-shut-off feature, always check that it is working properly by checking for water leakage or condensation buildup every few hours while running.

If there are no problems present after a thorough inspection, then this means everything is fine, and you can leave the dehumidifier unattended without worrying about any safety concerns at all.

Just make sure that if your device doesn’t have an automatic shut-off function, you turn it off when leaving home for extended periods just in case something goes wrong while away from home.

Are Dehumidifiers A Fire Hazard?

If not well maintained, some poor-quality dehumidifiers can overheat and catch fire.

However, a well-maintained unit is not likely to cause problems. If you have any concerns about your dehumidifier catching fire, check the manufacturer’s manual and see if there are any recommendations on how often its filters should be cleaned or replaced.

If it doesn’t mention anything at all in this regard, consider upgrading your machine with one that has longer-lasting maintenance features such as easily accessible air filter replacements, which can be changed after every few months instead of once per year.

Also, make sure the drainage system works properly without water overflowing onto other parts of the device when in use for extended periods of time.

While buying a new dehumidifier, always look out for safety features like auto shut-off function, etc., so that you don’t have to worry about this in the future.

Is It OK To Sleep With Dehumidifier On?

Yes, it is OK to sleep with your dehumidifier on as long as it is a properly maintained unit with an auto-shut-off function.

However, you also need to practice some caution.

As mentioned before, it is advisable to keep the unit in a well-ventilated area. Also, because you will be asleep while it runs, you need to make sure that it is placed on a safe surface.

You do not want your device slipping and falling onto the bed or any other place where someone might get hurt while moving around at night.

If there are children in your home, consider placing the machine next to an adult’s side of the bed so if anything goes wrong, they will be the first ones to notice.

In case your machine doesn’t have an auto shut off function, always ensure you turn it off before going to bed and never leave it unattended for extended periods of time while sleeping unless you install additional safety measures such as smoke detectors, etc., which can alert you if something goes wrong with the dehumidifier while asleep.

Can A Dehumidifier Run 24 7?

Some high-quality dehumidifiers, especially commercial-grade ones, can run 24 hours every day without any issues.

However, this is going to put more strain on its components, reducing its lifespan significantly.

If you run your unit for extended periods of time, it is advisable to keep an eye on the performance indicator lights. If they are blinking or changing colors frequently, this means that it needs maintenance soon.

Also, if there are any unusual noises coming from inside the machine while running, then immediately turn off the power and seek professional help in order to avoid any potential safety concerns in the future.

You can also check if your unit is having any issues by looking out for these signs: Excessive noise, condensation or water leakage on its exterior, frequent shut-offs, etc.; while running a dehumidifier 24/seven might increase wear and tear of components, but it can be done if there is a need.

Should You Run A Dehumidifier In The Basement All The Time?

Because the basement is constantly exposed to moisture sources, it is safe to run a dehumidifier very frequently. However, make sure you have some form of ventilation in the basement to avoid any potential health hazards.

If you are looking for a dehumidifier with a humidistat, make sure it has humidity sensors that can detect both high and low levels of humidity accurately so that you don’t need to constantly monitor its performance.

This way, your machine will run only when needed and shut off automatically when humidity levels come down.

One of the most affordable ways to run a dehumidifier 24/seven in the basement is by using an extension cord from your main power source so that you don’t have to worry about constant plugging-unplugging of devices.

However, it is important to note that you should not run a dehumidifier on the same extension cord that powers your home appliances as it may trip circuit breakers.

Should I Run My Dehumidifier On Low, Medium, Or High?

What sets you to run your dehumidifier will depend on how much moisture you have in your home.

If you are running a dehumidifier 24/seven, then it is recommended to set the device on high mode and monitor its performance frequently using an indicator light or monitoring device like a hygrometer, etc.,

If there are no visible signs of condensation after some time (usually within 24 hours), then you can easily switch to low mode. This way, your unit will run less frequently and reduce wear and tear of components, also protect the environment by saving power in the long run.

What Are Some Tips For Using My Dehumidifier?

  • Keep pets away from the area where it will be used because they could accidentally knock over the machine, which could damage both them and themselves in return – this includes children.
  • Don’t use extension cords unless absolutely necessary; plug your dehumidifier directly into a power outlet.
  • Make sure you clean the appliance every now and then to avoid any kind of moisture buildup inside your machine, which can lead to mold growth and other potential health issues in the future.
  • Cover the device with some sort of cover when not in use as it will help keep dust, dirt, or any other kind of debris away from the appliance.
  • Be sure to empty your dehumidifier very frequently in order to avoid any mold growth or mineral deposits inside it, especially when running 24/seven.

Final Thoughts

For one reason or another, you may need to leave your dehumidifier on for extended periods. This is completely safe as long as you have some caution and the unit is properly maintained.

Looking For Dehumidifer Guides?

If you’re looking for more dehumidifier resources, consider checking out our other post on Dehumidifiers.

irene mills author of freshairdevices


Irene Batres is eager to help others create an indoor allergen-free home. She has years of experience testing out air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and other products designed to help with indoor air quality. Learn more about me.